Improving Terminology to Describe Coronary Artery Procedures: JACC Review Topic of the Week

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Jul 13;78(2):180-188. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.05.010.


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is treated with medical therapy with or without percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). The latter 2 options are commonly referred to as "myocardial revascularization" procedures. We reason that this term is inappropriate because it is suggestive of a single treatment effect of PCI and CABG (ie, the reestablishment of blood flow to ischemic myocardium) and obscures key mechanisms, such as the improvement in coronary flow capability in the absence of ongoing ischemia, the reperfusion in the presence of ischemia, and the prevention of myocardial infarction from CAD progression. We review the current evidence on the topic and suggest the use of a purely descriptive terminology ("invasive treatment by PCI or CABG") which has the potential to improve clinical decision making and guide future trial design.

Keywords: cardiac surgery; coronary flow reserve; coronary intervention; hibernation; ischemia; reperfusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention*
  • Terminology as Topic*